Ban Melody Beattie From Yoga

What’s with all the yoga teachers who conclude their classes with a reading from Melody Beattie?maxresdefault

You know Melody Beattie.

She wrote a couple of wildly successful “self-help” books back in the 1980s. A drinker at 12, an alcoholic at 13 and junkie at 18 Beattie sobered and straighten up and wrote 18 books of which one became the “bible” of the again wildly popular 12-Step program Co-Dependent Anonymous.

Beattie’s quotes eventually all end up sounding the same to me. I mean once you’ve heard “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow” you’ve heard the heart of Melody Beattie and it makes as much sense as believing in garden fairies to my ears.GetPageImage.aspx

I don’t object to Melody Beattie or her work. I’ve read a lot of it over the years. In fact, I like to say I read Melody Beattie in her first editions before she became MELODY F***ing BEATTIE.

Her message is about being broken and finding healing and a way back to a sober life. That’s a great message and it seems to have a particular resonance for female (who out number male yoga teachers by about a 100 to one) who in their 30s are putting their broken lives back together.

I’m not saying every 30-year-old female yoga teacher is broken but if you listen to the language during class it would be a pretty good guess IMHO.  It makes sense that someone seeking healing in their own lives would end up taking yoga classes and then, after experiencing some relief from the horrors of their lives, take up teaching (for a mere $2-3K) others what they’ve found.

And I have no issue with broken 30-year-old (or younger or older) female yoga teachers getting the therapy they need but I am not pleased they bring it into my yoga class.

You see I don’t see myself as being broken and needing “healing” and I resent that some teachers use my class, which I’ve paid for, to do their personal therapy.patanjali-3-300

Patanjali’s yoga sutras (threads), the heart of yoga philosophy, are not about healing and certainly not about gratitude.

The sutras talk about enlightenment, the practice, the results and about liberation.

I am no expert in Patanjali’s yoga sutras (For me much like discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.) but the Ashtanga Yoga translation says this in conclusion of the sutras:

Liberation (kaivalya) fulfills the goal of the true self (purusha): matter (guns) is transcended. The true nature of being and the force of absolute knowledge are then revealed.

Gee that doesn’t sound like Melody Beattie now does it you Warrior Ones 🙂

Bicycle Power Meters

Big shoutout to CyclePath Oakville for hosting Pioneer reps who gave an excellent workshop on how power metering can revolutionize your pro or semi-pro bicycle training or even just your serious club riding technique.

So let’s get the problem out of the way first. It’s cost! IMG_1447_thumb

A single-side unit (only measures power from one leg) sells for $600 and a full dual power meter crankset costs around $1500. When you compare that to the $70 you spent on your CatsEye bike computer this is an eye-watering cost.

But if you consider what you get for your $1500 it’s a bargain!

How so? Well I’m not going to start describing all the features of power meters but it comes down to this: a power meter – especially a dual setup – is the penultimate way to measure fitness and effort in terms of actual watts output produced by a cyclist.

While heart rate monitors and cadence indicators are helpful, it’s absolutely amazing what a difference a power readout can make to your training.

This is why pro athletes and very serious weekend warriors will buy power meters regardless of cost and they’re going to buy a lot of them.

The Pioneer dual unit can show you how efficient each individual leg movement is in realtime and can store huge amounts of riding data in an online database. This means you can coach yourself to ride more efficiently even to the point of knowing your “numbers” so you always ride inside of your maximum capacity. In other words no more burnouts on club rides or time trials.nathan-saturn

The problem for Pioneer and the other power meter manufacturers is in the not-to-distant future, somebody is going to design a crankset box that costs $50 and uses free wireless BlueTooth technology to upload the data in realtime to an app on your smartphone.

BTW Pioneer brought with them eight time Australian time Trial Champion Nathan O’Neill who now works for the company to describe the real world benefits of using these meters. Nathan did a great job at both selling us on power meters and describing what it was like to be a professional cyclist. He had great stories!

Nice to stand beside greatness if only for a night. That’s Nathan back in 2003. Looks a little like me on my new bike …in my dreams.


The Wonder Of The Heavens

(This post also appears on my teaching photography blog Peter West Photography.)

The Oakville Camera Club hosted a talk by Wesley Liikane (Cowboy With A Camera) whose night skies and wildlife shots from Algonquin Park and parts north wowed the audience.Milky Way Marsh

This young man has figured out how to shoot esoteric shots like the Northern Lights and the Milky Way using single shot, multiple shot, HDR and star shots like nothing you’ve ever seen.

(Photo by Wesley Liikane – Cowboy with a Camera)

Wesley lives up in the Severn Bridge area of Northern Ontario and all the wonders of the firmament rotate above his head on a nightly basis.

Wesley does workshops up north and frankly I can’t think of a more personable and professional teacher. This young man is the real thing.

Go visit his site and be prepared to be amazed.

Tour of Croatia 2016

One of the things that European TV (and bloggers) do way better than we do is post full videos of the international bike races that take place at this time of year.

As I await my back to realign I’m watching the Tour of Croatia which took place a few days ago.

Croatia is beautiful beyond words. Castles, mountains, the ocean views…what’s not to like.